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Re: [steering-discuss] Updated draft of the Community Bylaws


Hi Michael, :-)

On Tue, Dec 7, 2010 at 19:40, Michael Meeks <michael.meeks@novell.com> wrote:
       Well - this is my view :-) it is perhaps not a sensible view, I'm open
to persuasion, and luckily I don't make these decisions the SC / board
does / will, but here is my advice:

       In my view, authority is conferred by two ways: hard work, and
relationship. Those who do the hard work, and build the product, teams
and relationships, will naturally lead those teams. Hopefully they do
this not alone, but with others too.

       AFAICS - giving an artificial "job title" to someone does not always
help them build an effective team that works well with others; and
indeed, it can hinder work or create conflict.

       Worse - while we would hope that a job title would reflect a reality:
that of someone (or the people) doing the most work in a given community
- the OO.o experience has shown us that -sometimes- these titles are
handed out like candy to random individuals, who then cease to do useful
work, or practically disappear :-) It seems to me that detecting these
cases, and arbitrating / transfering / handing out official titles is
some political nightmare that cannot be easily imposed from outside the
sub-community, and can go badly wrong inside it.

       That is contrasted to a fairly natural shift in control as new people
arrive to do more work, and others start to do less: this is the reality
of Free Software projects, managing a continuous flux of change and
turnover of people.

       Of course, if the Board wants to create this sort of arbitration and
selection problem, I defer to their wisdom; but I'm personally against
it. Clearly there are some formal roles it is hard to live without:
board member, spokesperson etc. Others IMHO do not need to be clear cut,
and are best left fluid.

       Does that make (some) sense ? :-)

I must admit that I don't really agree with you, Michael. There is
always need for organization and coordination in any human enterprise.
Personally, I can't think of any viable, successful endeavour
involving organized action that would work without them. Open Source
has demonstrated that in the past - with positive examples and
negative examples. But, IMHO, that principle is practically
ubiquitous.

       Members are expected to refrain from any kind of expression of
       racism, xenophobia, sexism and religious or political
       intolerance.

       This sounds like a vow of chastity :-) It appears to apply to the whole
of life, and not just to engagement with TDF etc. As such is is somewhat
offensive, and in itself an oxymoron: "I can't tolerate your
intolerance" ;-). Many communities have people with strong, colorful and
opposing views expressed in strong terms. This to me is a sign of health
and diversity - instead of some bland pea-soup of non-expression :-)

Again, I'm afraid don't agree with you. One of the negative things
about many FOSS projects is the kind of negative behavior, attitudes
and treatment that people sometimes have to put up with - there have
been several threads in the TDF lists where it has occurred. I suspect
that there would be plenty of people who would support what I've
written.

In any case, you've had lots of time to read and comment. ;-) Me, I
was extremely concerned from day #1 of the launch that TDF had not
prepared things properly, and that it did not have a "draft
constitution" to put before people right at the outset. But instead of
just standing back and criticizing from a distance, I wanted to get
involved in remedying the problem.

Anyway, as we all well know, for every guy that says "Turn left!"
there will be another that says "Turn right!" :-D

In any case, I've done my best to be of practical help, and you guys
are free to do what you will. ;-)

David Nelson

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